NSW: Warning on recalled heaters
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe today issued a warning on recalled and dangerous electric heaters, including the Sunair model FHS35 plastic bodied fan heater recalled in 2009.
Mr Stowe said the Sunair heater caused a fire at a home on 2 June this year in the Beresfield (Newcastle) area.
“The heater was purchased 5-6 years ago and left in a box in a cupboard for some time,” he said. “The heater ignited and caused significant smoke damage. The resident, who was at home at the time, fortunately escaped serious injury.
“These types of heaters are often kept for guest or supplementary heating so I urge anyone bringing out heaters that have been in storage to check at www.recalls.gov.au to make sure they are not using a potentially lethal product.”
Mr Stowe said gas and electrical appliances and products could pose a significant risk to life and property, if used in dangerous settings or ways.
“Putting heaters too close to bedding or bringing external heaters into enclosed places has previously proved fatal for families in NSW,” he said.
Fair Trading inspects thousands of electrical and gas heaters each year and has recently ordered the removal from shelves of several unapproved and unsafe gas and electrical products. Year round safety checks help protect NSW residents because Fair Trading orders the removal of any unmarked, unapproved or unsafe products. Officers return to stores or outlets, unannounced, to make sure traders are complying with the law.
Fair Trading tips for a safe winter:
- Do not place room heaters too close to furniture items in your home.
- Do not place clothing, furnishings, curtains and bedding too close to heaters.
- Do not allow children or pets to play, stand or sit too close to heaters. Supervise them at all times around heaters.
- Gas heaters must be certified and should be serviced every two years or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If a gas heater produces a pungent odour, a sooty flame or the flame is yellow in colour, stop use immediately and get it serviced. Faulty or poorly maintained gas appliances can cause the production of carbon monoxide.
- Always have a source of fresh air entering the room when using a gas heater.
- Check electric heaters are free from dust and have intact power cords and plugs.
- Older style heaters with rusted reflectors or frames can cause hot spots and be a source of danger.
- When buying electrical products, check they carry the required safety approval mark. You can check these marks on the Fair Trading website.
- Only use appropriately licensed installers of fixed heating appliances. Do a licence check on the Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.
- Electric blankets should be checked each winter for any faults or fraying cords.
- Only buy hot water bottles that carry the mandatory label: WARNING – Hot water bottles can cause burns. Avoid prolonged direct contact with the skin.
- Hot water bottles that are old, show signs of wear or are not used properly can burst or leak, resulting in severe burns. Ideally, buy new hot water bottles every winter.
- Choose children’s nightwear that has information about fire danger on its label.
Recalled heaters that could be in homes
Sunair FHS34 & Sunair FHS35
Sunair Heaters distributed by GAF Control (Sales) Pty Ltd – recalled 2009
Sold through Bunnings, Good Guys, Mitre 10, Coles, Priceline, Franklins & Kmart
Abode & Home Collection 2000W recalled 2011 – recall extended 2012
Both heaters distributed by Woolworths
Sold through Woolworths, Safeway and affiliated stores
Tempo NSB-200J & NSB-200J-8 – recalled 2008
Distributed by Tempo (Aust) Pty Ltd
Sold through Woolworths, Safeway, Kmart, Bi-lo, Coles & Pick & Pay stores